After Chadwick Boseman‘s shocking and untimely death this past August, fans will be relieved to know that his memory will be respected in the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward.
An executive producer concerned with the Black Panther franchise at Marvel Studios has confirmed that a CGI double of the actor will not be used when production on sequel Black Panther II begins.
Since Chadwick’s passing at age 43 after a private struggle with colon cancer, the big question has been how the BP franchise will continue without its titular King T’Challa.
Not only would the use of a CGI double be costly with likely artificial results, but it would also brush aside the fact that the actor had passed away in real life.
Speaking to the Argentinian newspaper Clarin, as reported by The Wrap, Marvel’s Victoria Alonso said, ‘No. There’s only one Chadwick and he’s not with us,’ when asked about the prospect of a digital recreation of the fallen star.
‘Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to the story and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, really.
‘Because Chadwick was not only a wonder of a human being every day for the five years that we spent together,’ she continued, ‘but it also seems to me that as a character what he did elevated us as a company and has left his moment in history.’
Boseman made his debut as the Black Panther in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, and went on to reprise the role in 2018’s Black Panther, along with Avengers: Infinity War that same year as well as 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
Little did anyone know that the star was privately battling stage III colon cancer, which then progressed to stage IV.
‘We have to think carefully about what we are going to do and how and think about how we are going to honor the franchise,’ Alonso said.
Filmmakers were faced with a similar predicament in another Disney property, namely Star Wars, when faced with Carrie Fisher’s sudden passing in 2016, before the closing chapter of that saga was filmed.
For Star Wars – Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, producers were able to use stock and unused footage of Fisher from Episodes VII and VII to give Princess Leia a proper sendoff.
But for Black Panther II, a similar strategy would not be sufficient, as Boseman was set to be the lead.
Many fans think that the filmmakers should take a note from the comics, and allow T’Challa’s genius younger sister Shuri to take on the Black Panther mantle.
Actress Letitia Wright, who played Shuri in the 2018 film, was a favorite aspect in that movie.
Creating a female Black Panther would not only move the franchise in a more timely and socially conscious direction, but would also move the MCU one step closer to an all-female Avengers film, with Natalie Portman already set to wield Thor’s hammer as the first female Goddess of Thunder in the upcoming Thor: Love And Thunder.